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Archaeologists find network of ancient tunnels at Houchengzui

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Archaeologists excavating at Houchengzui in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region have uncovered a network of ancient tunnels.

Houchengzui, also known as Houchengzui Stone City, is an archaeological site located on the northern shore of the Hun River within Qingshuihe County, situated in the Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Previous excavations have dated the city to around 4,300 to 4,500 years ago during the Longshan period, which saw the emergence of late Neolithic societies such as the Black Pottery or Longshan culture.

Encompassing approximately 341 acres in an oval layout, Houchengzui consists of both an inner and outer city, fortified by a triple defensive system comprised of trenches and walls.

According to an announcement by the Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), excavations have revealed a network of underground tunnels, which were used as an ancient transportation network and also provided a defensive and offensive purpose.

A total of 6 underground tunnel passages were discovered at a dept of between 1.5 to 6 metres, which are distributed in a radial pattern from the city centre. The tunnels have an arched ceiling, similar to cave dwellings from the Longshan culture, and measure around 1 to 2 metres in height by 1.5 metres wide.

According to Sun Jinsong, director of the Cultural Relics and Archaeology Academy of Inner Mongolia, the surrounding moats as well as the outer defensive perimeters (known as barbicans) were the focus of recent research.

Excavations also uncovered three city gates, namely the main city gate (CM1), the urn city gate (CM2), and the outer urn city gate (CM3). The main city gate is located in the middle of the outer city wall and is rectangular in plan with a doorway flanked by earthen platforms on either side.

Archaeologists also found other defensive structures, including city walls and bastions-structures that project outward from the walls to allow defensive fire in different directions.

Header Image Credit : CASS

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Researchers find that Żagań-Lutnia5 is an Iron Age stronghold

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Archaeologists have conducted a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey of Żagań-Lutnia5, revealing that the monument is an Iron Age stronghold.

Żagań-Lutnia5 was first discovered in the 1960s near the town of Żagań in western Poland, with previous studies suggesting that the monument could be associated with the Białowieża group of the Lusatian urnfield culture.

The Lusatian culture existed in the later Bronze Age and early Iron Age (1300–500 BC) in most of what is now Poland. It formed part of the Urnfield systems found from eastern France, southern Germany and Austria to Hungary, and the Nordic Bronze Age in northwestern Germany and Scandinavia.

A recent study led by Dr. Arkadiusz Michalak on behalf of the Archaeological Museum of the Middle Oder River has revealed two parallel sequences of magnetic anomalies at Żagań-Lutnia5 that represent the remnants of earthen and wooden fortifications.

The course of the fortifications were recorded in the northern, western and southern parts of the study area, however, a study of the eastern section was limited due to a sewage collector built in the 1990’s.

Exploratory excavations found four cultural layers with remains of huts and hearths, in addition to a burnt layer from the last phase of occupation that suggests a period of conflict.

According to the researchers, the monument was likely built by the same people who constructed the stronghold in Wicin and a number of verified defensive settlements within the area of the Elbe, Nysa Łużycka and Odra.

As a result of the study, Żagań-Lutnia5 has been added to the catalogue of verified Early Iron Age strongholds located in today’s Lubusz Voivodeship.

Header Image Credit : Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments

Sources : Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments – Archaeological research at the site of Żagań-Lutnia5

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Rare copper dagger found in Polish forest

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A rare copper dagger from over 4,000-years-ago has been discovered in the forests near Korzenica, southeastern Poland.

Piotr Gorlach from the Historical and Exploration Association Grupa Jarosław made the discovery during a metal detector survey in Jarosław Forest.

Upon realising the significance of the find, Mr Gorlach contacted the Podkarpacie conservator of monuments in Przemyśl and the Orsetti House Museum.

The dagger dates from over 4,000 years ago, a period in which objects made from copper were extremely rare in the Central European Plain.

A preliminary study indicates that the dagger may originate from the Carpathian Basin or Ukrainian steppe, and predates the development of bronze metallurgy for the region.

This transition is traditionally known as the Copper Age and marked a gradual incorporation of copper while stone remained the primary resource utilised.

Dr. Elżbieta Sieradzka-Burghardt from the museum in Jarosław, said: “This is a period of enormous change in the main raw materials for the production of tools. Instead of flint tools commonly used in the Stone Age, more and more metal products appear heralding the transition to the next period – the Bronze Age.”

Daggers during this era were a universal attribute of warriors, however, being made from copper suggests that the owner held a high social status. This is further supported by its size measuring 10.5 cm in length, which for this period is actually very large when compared to other metal objects from the same era.

The dagger has already been added to the collection of the Orsetti House Museum in Jarosław.

Header Image Credit : Łukasz Śliwiński

Sources : PAP – A dagger from over 4,000 years ago found in the forest.

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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